Is recognition of Israel’s existence good enough?

Point of View | 32

British Foreign Minister Jack Straw stated that Britain was interested in “normal relations” with Hamas and pointed out that “recognition of Israel did not mean a formal declaration by Hamas, but a practical acceptance of the reality.” (Ha'aretz, 4/20/06).

The Re’ut Institute poses the question: Will Israel be satisfied with Hamas' recognition of the “existence of Israel”?

What is the Issue?

  • So far, the international community has demanded that Hamas recognize Israel, reaffirm existing agreements and end violence, as a pre-condition for continuing transfer of funds to the Hamas-led government.

  • The lack of funding to the PA places Hamas in a truly perilous position, and the organization is looking for a way to ease the international pressure.​

  • Statements by Hamas leaders suggest that one of the ways in which the organization is attempting to cope with the international pressure is by recognizing the existing reality of Israel – as differentiated from the right of Israel to exist:​​

  • Moussa Abu Marzouq: "Relations with the Jewish state are inevitable as the existence of Israel is a fact", Ha'aretz, 1/26; "There's no doubt that there is a realistic recognition on our part of Israel", Ynet, 2/20;

  • Dr. Adnan Asfour: "Hamas recognizes Israel's existence as a fact, but it opposes Israel's illegal occupation of Palestinian land", Ma'ariv 1/31/06



Two State Solution, Partner for Peace, Legitimacy, West Bank, Gaza


Point of View

National Security

Israel & The Palestinians

It appears that the members of the international coalition wish to prevent a humanitarian crisis and are therefore looking for a way to soften the demands placed on Hamas .

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